The California lacrosse program signed eight recruits to National Letters of Intent, Golden Bears head coach Theresa Sherry announced on Monday. The incoming class features three players from the San Francisco Bay Area – Lauren Goerz (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista High School), Teresa Li (Pleasanton, Calif./ Amador Valley High School) and Hayley Olson (Livermore, Calif./Granada High School) – two from Colorado – Shelby Barrett (Centennial, Colo./Cherry Creek High School) and Megan McGinnis (Morrison, Colo./Colorado Academy) and three – Paige Gasparino (Darien, Conn./Darien High School), Grace Parente (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr School) and Jackie Pelletier (Andover, Mass./Andover High School) – from the East Coast.
The class includes multiple midfielders (3), defenders (2) and attackers (2) as well as one goalkeeper.
“We are extremely excited to welcome these eight student-athletes into the Cal lacrosse family,” Sherry said. “This class is made up of fast, athletic and mentally tough lacrosse players who we feel will help our program continue to achieve greater things in the MPSF and the NCAAs. We are happy to continue pulling players from all over the country to play for our team, the different personalities and backgrounds adding a significant flavor to the Cal campus both on and off the field.”
Goerz, a high school All-American midfielder who led Monte Vista to the North Coast Section title as a junior, was named the 2009 Contra Costa Times Player of the Year and East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) MVP. She tallied four goals and an assist in the 2009 NCS final.
Li, Olson and Goerz were named to the 2009 all-EBAL first team. A midfielder, Li was selected an honorable mention All-American and, along with current Cal freshman Ana Cyr, was named a US Lacrosse academic All-American in 2009. Li played at Amador Valley with current Cal sophomore Melissa Sheehan. Olson, an attacker, and Cyr were teammates at Granada High School.
“Our three players from the Bay Area have been playing with and against each other for years, most recently for the BearLax Club run out of Berkeley,” Sherry said. “Teresa Li is fast, smart and tenacious all over the field. Lauren Goerz is powerful and athletic, in addition to being a competitor that will challenge her new teammates from the start. Hayley Olson will be an asset with her speed, her nose for the goal and her work ethic in the midfield.”
A high school All-American goalkeeper, McGinnis comes to Cal from the same school (Colorado Academy) that produced Bears junior Chapin Jackson. McGinnis has also played for the Team 180 club.
“Megan McGinnis is a very talented athlete, and lefty goalkeeper, who will continue to offer a presence for Cal both between the pipes and outside the cage,” Sherry said.
Barrett is an attacker/midfielder from the same high school that produced Cal sophomores Lauren Johnson and Allie Welsh.
“Shelby Barrett is another product of Team 180 in Colorado, playing with Megan [McGinnis] over the past few years,” Sherry said. “Shelby will add a shooting ability to our attack next year and athleticism in the midfield as well.”
Gasparino, a midfielder, and current Cal freshman Clemmy Little were teammates at Darien High School, which also produced former Cal stalwart Ghillie Little, Clemmy’s sister.
“Paige Gasparino will also offer speed in the midfield and we expect her to be an impact player in both the offensive and defensive ends of the field,” Sherry said.
Parente, a defender, was named to the Baltimore Sun’s All-Baltimore City team as a junior last spring. She also played on the backline for the Bryn Mawr School soccer team, which recently won its Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference championship. Parente hails from the same hometown and high school as Sherry and Cal senior Tighe Hutchins.
“Grace Parente is a tough, quick defender with great instincts,” Sherry said. “She will add an element of tenacity and skill to our defensive end.”
Pelletier was a key member of the stingy defense at Merrimack Valley Conference (MVC) powerhouse Andover High School.
“Jacqueline Pelletier is a strong and smart defender with leadership skills that will benefit our defensive end,” Sherry said.
The current Golden Bears will open their 2009 season against UC Davis, a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) opponent, at 1 p.m. on Feb. 20 in Davis, Calif.